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Human Rights Watch Daily Brief, 17 October

Bahrain; Killer Robots; EU-Azerbaijan scandal, Uzbekistan, Global Slavery Index, Saudi Arabia, Greenpeace, Russia

Sign language is critical for deaf people to be able to communicate, express themselves, and learn. Deaf children who can communicate can get jobs, and participate in their communities and in their family life. 
“Our disability only affects our hearing, not our mind,” explains one student. Hundreds of deaf people, their families, government officials, and disability experts have gathered in Sydney for a major conference on October 16-18 organized by the World Federation of the Deaf.    
In Bahrain, there may soon be more teargas canisters in the country than there are people.
For two years, as the United States has condemned massive abuses of protesters throughout the Middle East, it has largely turned a blind eye to equally horrific treatment in Bahrain, a small but significant ally
Instead of hedging its rhetoric, the Obama administration should develop a stronger and more consistent approach. 
Rapid advances in technology are resulting in efforts to develop weapons – so-called fully autonomous weapons or “killer robots” – that would be able to operate on their own without any human supervision. Here's an update on the first six months of the campaign to preemptively ban these weapons.
From this morning: 
The European Voice revealed today that some members of the European Parliament have been paid to travel to Azerbaijan to "unofficially observe" the presidential election earlier this month. This "electoral tourism" is leading many to question the subsequent glowing praise from these MEPs and their sponsoring organizations for what is otherwise widely recognized as a deeply flawed vote.
Uzbekistan's annual cotton harvest is in full swing, as is their annual use of forced child and adult labor. Deaths of children and young adolescents have already been reported this year in what is surely the world's largest state-directed system of forced labor of children and adults. 

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